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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bewl Marathon Race report

Bewl Marathon by ultraBobban
Bewl Marathon, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

It was wet on the journey down but the rain stopped between arriving at the car park and picking up my number. A light drizzle ensued for the next hour through the start but it did nothing to dampen the spirits.

I walked into the registration and saw no one that I knew, so got a cup of tea and went back to the car to get my trail shoes on. It was really muddy. The race had been billed as "trail shoes not needed" and this some felt, was a joke.

The start kicked off with a wet band of club level runners doing a lap of the steep dam and off around the lake we went. Some of the throng had run the Bewl 15 which circumnavigates the lake, but this took in the hills around the high southern edge. The first 3 miles were "Torvill and Dean" country, with runners flipping and falling by the wayside with deft pirouettes to balance the slides and slips. CP1 came up in no time at 3 miles. I had bumped into the 100 mile legend Helen at the start but she went of like shit off a hot chrome shovel, sniffing out the 1st female place.

Between the 3 mile CP and 6 mile CP I ran past a yellow-jacketed figure and was so focused on not falling over that I failed to look up. "Oi Rob!" and none other than GUCR legend George poked his face out from beneath the cap and we engaged in some good chit chat. George is an amazing chap. he has run the GUCR and the Cotswold 100 and is so laid back about it all. it was good to hear that his (not so) new job was going well and the family were all good too. I'm not sure how but a couple of us got into conversation and I started running with a primary school teacher called Susie and as I turned around, George was not now behind. I ran with Susie having a chit chat and a slip-slide for about 4 miles, I conceded that I was keeping something in the tank for the Sunday 27 miler. While we were together we passed a fair few runners.

Each of the laps departed from the lake and up a set of nearby hills which were on the road. At this point, I thought that the second lap would be a tougher one and had prepared myself to walk.

Lap one was met with a cheer from the late finishers to the half and it was back to the slide-a-thon. I had a little wobble at about 14 but after that the miles just went by. Crabbing over a flooded bridge where a tributary was coming over, such was the flooding, was fun, as was the sides and backs of runners who had hit the floor and were covered in cack.

I felt really good coming through 17 and 18, and with a flapjack and a big glug of beetroot juice.....much to the marshal's distaste....beetroot juice...are you mad.....yep!

The last 10k was as cheeky as they come. With a smallish field, they were pretty far apart so I set to task to catch the person in front, have a chat and catch my breath and then repeat for the person who was about 500m in front. Each time I increased my pace and realised that I was now in negative split land.....holy shit....I don't often do that!

There were no checkpoints from 19 miles onward so I put my head down and legged it aka Immune and UB stylee. Brill! Last 3 miles were definitely sub 8s and I wanted to hold position. I did.

As I came over the line, there were a few runners at the finish, including Susie who I had run with. She came in 3rd and first lady! I had come in 9th, trailing 3rd place by only 7 mins. Had I had the beans in the tank...bearing in mind the 27 mile 3FM coming up tomorrow, I would have attacked the last 10 miles and not the last 10k.

Still. Hermes running....well done and I'll be back next year. 3.53.50 on a very challenging course has left me v happy.


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